I've read many books with the "sheikh" theme and the storyline for Innocent in the Sheikh's Harem is basically the same as most of them...innocent AmeI've read many books with the "sheikh" theme and the storyline for Innocent in the Sheikh's Harem is basically the same as most of them...innocent American/English woman and wealthy prince of a fictional middle eastern country fall madly in love but cannot marry due to cultural restrictions. However, this book sets itself apart from other Harlequin "harem" novels because the sexual encounters between Prince Ramiz & Celia are seriously off the charts hot! Every encounter - and there are several - is lush and sensual and described in vivid detail. Just close your eyes and you are there (although that didn't work too well for me since I was listening to the audiobook and almost ran off the road). Nevertheless, if you are a sheikh fangirl and don't mind delving into the naughty, this is the book for you!
This is a book with the most unusual and unlikely coupling of any story you have ever read or will ever read. The hero is Sir Mark Turner. At age 28,This is a book with the most unusual and unlikely coupling of any story you have ever read or will ever read. The hero is Sir Mark Turner. At age 28, he has become a celebrity of sorts due to a book he has written entitled, The Gentleman's Practical Guide to Chastity...the contents of which he embraces wholeheartedly. The heroine is Jessica Farleigh, a seasoned courtesan who wants nothing more than to free herself from the demeaning life that fate has bestowed upon her. Seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, she accepts a wager that has been made by an enemy of Sir Mark...bring the man to ruin so he will be publicly denounced.
Jessica's first attempts to seduce Mark are easily thwarted, as he knows what she is trying to do but is uncertain as to why. When asked about her motives, she candidly replies, "because I hate you." Mark senses the truth behind those words and appreciates her honesty. As he is the "darling" of society and put on a pedestal by most everyone, he is thoroughly sick of the adoration himself and can wholeheartedly understand the resentment some people might harbor against him. He repeatedly tells admirers, "I'm not a holy man. I just wrote a book." And he tells Jessica, "I am just a man"; and as all men, he has sexual desires...he just doesn't act upon them. Beginning to like this woman and confident of his restraint, he tells Jessica "If you truly liked me enough to tempt me, I should not mind seeing you try."
From then on, a bond is forged between the virtuous man and his would-be seductress, and they become friends. However, perhaps it's the "when Harry met Molly" curse, but their friendship inevitably gives way to love. Mark has finally met the woman he has been waiting for all of his life and Jessica...well...personal feelings must be put aside - she still has to seduce him to collect on the wager.
Unclaimed is by far the best book Courtney Milan has written to date. I've read all of her books so I am used to her excellent characterization and her ability to transport her readers to whatever time and place she chooses. But with this story, she engages your heart; and in so doing makes you feel what you would otherwise just read. Mark and Jessica's love story is not easy, but it is real and powerful and emotional, and will touch you to your very soul.
5* plus for a wonderful book that any true reader of romance will not want to miss!...more
"I loved What Might Have Been. It's sweet, it's hot, it's emotionally poignant and satisfying...and did I mention hot? Kira Sinclair hit this one out "I loved What Might Have Been. It's sweet, it's hot, it's emotionally poignant and satisfying...and did I mention hot? Kira Sinclair hit this one out of the ballpark." - New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard
Ahh...this is HB at its best. I loved everything about this book...from the hot couple on the cover (who depicted the H/h perfectly) right through to an epilogue that is the perfect ending to an amazing love story.
Luke Collier has returned home to Collier Orchards for his grandfather's funeral. When he left 8 years ago for the bright lights of the big city, he was eager to get away from the orchard and the stifling setting of the small town he had grown up in...so eager that he dumped his girlfriend of 4 years, half-heartedly promised his grandparents he would write, and bid his twin brother Logan a fond adieu as well...effectively walking away from everything he loved without so much as a backward glance. Now he was back, and that stifling feeling immediately took hold of him again. He couldn't wait to sell the orchard and move Gran to a home in Atlanta close to his condo!
But then he saw Ainsley...and he was flooded with memories of their past. He had fallen in love with her the very moment he had first laid eyes on her in the orchard...her beauty illuminated by the moonlight. But that had been many years ago when she was just a teenager. She certainly wasn't a teenager any longer. She was a grown woman and even more beautiful than he had imagined..and he had imagined it more times than he cared to admit during those years he had been away. None of the women he had dated could hold a candle to Ainsley...not just in beauty but in strength of character...heart and soul. And - OMG the sex! It had been like nothing he had ever experienced again. More than amazing! But then the familiar, gut-wrenching feeling took hold of him and Luke berated himself for his foolish thoughts. He made a firm promise to himself he wouldn't linger at the orchard a moment longer than was necessary. He wasn't up for the torture...
... Ainsley had married his brother.
If you enjoy the "second time around" theme, put this book at the top of your wish-list. If hot, sweaty, peach-juice-sticky sex is your thing, these two turn it into a delicious, erotic work of art. The sexual chemistry they share is palpable (caution: drooling inevitable) and the sex -wowowowow - raw, needy and totally uninhibited.
*dear God, send me a Luke Collier and I promise to eat brussel sprouts every day for the rest of my life*
There are several heart-wrenching, bittersweet moments so a box of Kleenex is strongly advised (although a sturdy sleeve should do in a pinch). Whatever. Just read this book. Please. I guarantee the few hours you spend absorbing these 200 pages will be time very well-spent!